Federal Court Picks Alabama Congressional Map That Carves out Separate Black District


Gerrymandering, whether engineered through judicial fiat or by legislators, is meant to weigh electoral results in a certain direction. From the map selected by the three-judge panel overseeing the Alabama redistricting map, it appears as though these judges are attempting to thwart another Trump landslide in Alabama for 2024.


Like the ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, this may not work out the way everyone thinks it will. Only time will tell

A panel of three federal judges on Thursday chose remedial map 3 for Alabama to use in its upcoming congressional elections in 2024.

The plan has a black voting age population of 48.7% in Congressional District 2 and 51.9% in Congressional District 7. A performance analysis by the court-appointed special master said that Democrats won 16 of the 17 previous elections in Congressional District 2 and 17 of 17 previous elections in Congressional District 7. State Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) told 1819 News last week he was considering challenging the incumbent U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) in Congressional District 7. 

"In the light of the submissions received by the Special Master, the comments and submissions in response to his Report & Recommendation, and after extensive analysis, we conclude that Remedial Plan 3 completely remedies the likely Section Two violation we identified while best preserving the State’s legislative preferences, as expressed through the 2023 Plan, and otherwise complies with the requirements of the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965," the judges wrote in their filing on Thursday.


Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen's statement appeared resigned to the outcome.

Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen reacted to the ruling in a statement saying his office “will facilitate the 2024 election cycle in accordance with the map the federal court has forced upon Alabama and ordered us to use.”

Allen added that it was “important for all Alabamians to know that the legal portion of this process has not yet been completed, and that “a full hearing on the redistricting issue will take place in the future and I trust Attorney General Marshall to represent Alabama through that process.”

The secretary of state said he would “keep our state’s elections safe, secure and transparent because that is what I was elected to do.”

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is still seeking legal redress, but in a statement, expressed his commitment to following the map approved by the courts. 

The Voting Rights Act was enabled to undo gerrymanders, not create them. But ironically, the Act has now been used to separate what plaintiffs call "Black Mobile" from the rest of Mobile, and then join "Black Mobile" with Phenix City, roughly 250 miles away. Anyone who looks at the State's map next to the map now imposed on the State can tell which is the racial gerrymander. That map violates the Constitution's guarantee of equality for all. We will abide by the court's order for the 2024 election, and we will continue to defend the State's law in court for future elections.


AG Marshall is a boss and maintains an impressive record of defending state's rights, so this may open the door for more lawsuits for him to tee up. It's also opening up the path for change in the congressional representation, pitting two Republican lawmakers in a merged district against each other, and opening up a potential challenge to a long-standing "Black Mobile" congressional seat.

According to reports, seven-term Congressional Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) might have both a Republican and Democrat challenger. In addition to Republican Beatrice Nichols, State Senator Bobby Singleton of Greensboro is mounting an exploratory committee to see if he can run for Congress in the reconstituted District 7.

Longtime legislative leader Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, says he’s considering a congressional run next year in District 7, currently held by Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham.

“I’m thinking about it. I’m putting together an exploratory committee right now,” Singleton told Alabama Daily News on Tuesday. “I’m not running in the new district (District 2), I’m running in Congresswoman Sewell’s, that’s what I want, I want the big fish.”


Sewell was one of the Democrats who cried racism and demanded the maps be redrawn. That old adage about being careful what you wish for comes into play here.


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